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400,000 students back to school in Chile


Santiago : More than 400,000 students will resume classes Monday in schools across Chile after a devastating earthquake destroyed large areas of the central and southern regions of the country, a minister said.

President Sebastian Pinera had set a deadline of two months within which to re-establish normalcy in healthcare, education and road transport in the most affected zones after the Feb 27 earthquake, Education Minister Joaquin Lavin said.

The president gave the ministry a term of 45 days to get classes started for the 1.2 million children who have still not started their school year.

With just over three weeks left to meet the presidential deadline of April 26, there are still 550,000 students who have no classes to attend; of them 353,000 are in Bio Bio region and 163,000 in Maule.